Tempers Flare at Windham Village Meeting
Windham - Windham Village Council met for their regularly-scheduled meeting with one board member delayed, by the weather; otherwise all other members were present. The meeting was called to order and council approved the minutes, expenditures, and the fire and police dispatcher’s report.
Mayor Rob Donham reported that the asbestos report was done on the 13 properties the village is planning to demolish through the Move Ohio Forward Program. The buildings are expected to be down by the end of the year.
Guest Zach Lewis from Boys Scout 4062 addressed council on doing an Eagle Scout Project by replacing the flag pole on the ‘green” where the Veterans’ Memorial is placed. Council said they were unsure if that was village or township property and they would have to address the township officials on the issue. Council agreed to donate $250 to the project and agreed to be the sponsor of the project if the township trustees did not want to do it (trustees meet on December 5, 2013.) Scout Advisor Scott Russell said the sponsor was needed to sign off on the project in order for it to be approved by the Boy Scout Council.
Council passed the resolution to enter into a recycle agreement with Portage County Solid Waste Department. The village and township will split the cost. They also approved the promotion of Joe Trocci to part-time officer effective November 27, 2013 and agreed to join the US Marshall Violent Fugitive Task Force. By joining the task force the department will designate an officer to serve 16 hours a month on the task force.
In Parks and Recreation, the committee announces it will once again hold a house decorating contest. Village residents will simply decorate and they will be judged. Prizes will be announced at a later date.
A discussion was held on when to appoint someone to the vacant seat on council. Tom Reitz suggested that they could solicit for candidates for the position but could not appoint anyone until after the position becomes open after the first of the year.
A resident questioned the recent purchase of the property on Main Street when the village just spent $60,000 on a new roof for the current facility. The mayor said they have been putting money into the facility, which has been nothing but a money pit. He cited rotting foundation, mold in the walls, outdated electrical service and more. The mayor went on to describe what they have spent on the facility compared to what it will cost to purchase and renovate a new facility. According to the mayor, the new facility will be more cost-effective than the current facility and will be a state-of-the-art facility. When the renovations are completed, the new facility will be one of the best in the region.
Another question was asked about why they did not hold a public meeting on the property purchase, why they didn’t show proof of the deterioration of the facility etc. The mayor said they did not have to hold public meetings on the issue since it was an administration decision. On the proof of the building’s condition, he responded that they just didn’t think about it. The question resulted in an exchange of words between the mayor and the resident. The loud “discussion” continued for about 10 minutes and in the end, it resulted in nothing being accomplished.
The meeting ended with clarification on the purchase and financing agreements. The mayor stated that they had not received any objections at any formal meeting on either issue.
The objections that were reported in an earlier article apparently were discussed during an executive session and not a formal meeting, as zero objections were found in any meeting minutes. Therefore council had not received anything negative about the purchase or financing package when they voted to purchase the facility and when they approved the financing of the purchase.
The December meeting has been changed to December 17, 2013 at 7pm due to the Christmas holiday.